FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Documents related to reports delivered April 17-18 to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of directors and its executive committee will be the focus of a special Zoom meeting next week.
Those reports contain allegations of credit card and identity fraud and misappropriation of donor funds that have drawn the attention of the Justice Department.
Copies of the reports to board members and the board’s executive committee, as well as a letter sent to trustees explaining the reasons for a meeting, were emailed to a Baptist Press reporter through an anonymous account. summoned. BP contacted trustee Aaron Sligar, who was named in the documents as filing the report, for authentication.
“An anonymous source leaked the report in question, which is a working document within the Board of Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” he emailed BP. “While our review is ongoing, this document was never intended for the press or the public; as such, it does not represent an official statement from the board. Please direct any questions about the report to Danny Roberts, Chairman of the SWBTS Board of Directors.”
BP contacted Southwestern and received the following statement from Roberts and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors:
“Southwestern Seminary has inherited and endured a challenging period for more than eight months following the resignation of the former president. Out of a desire to balance charity to the former president with the need to address the actions and decisions that have led to the current state of the seminary, the board of directors has disclosed limited information to the Southern Baptist public while fulfilling its fiduciary duty to carefully evaluate certain financial matters.
“Unfortunately, some people have questioned the integrity of the board’s processes and actions. While it would be unwise at this time to respond to every claim that is now circulating on various platforms, we affirm that the claims of inappropriate activity by board officers, the executive committee, and/or designated personnel are without merit, and the board will release everyone relevant and appropriate information after an extraordinary meeting of the board of trustees to be held on May 30 to discuss these matters. Additionally, as previously reported, the Department of Justice is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention in connection with sexual abuse. The seminary is cooperating fully in this matter.”
A spokesman for the FBI’s Dallas office told Baptist Press they could not confirm an investigation into financial matters at Southwestern.
More details will be available in upcoming coverage via Baptist Press.